May 1, 2016
I promised to update you on the nuno felting results. This quilter just adores the water color, layered effect that nuno felt gives to my tops.
Equipped with roving in greys, natural off whites and blues, I actually completed one quilt with nuno felting yardage in April. Attempting to represent moving water while still honoring the wooly origins of my materials, I placed needle felted “rocks” underneath a portion of the quilt top and then needle felted it to a suiting weight wool border.
Feline fiberista approved.
With several nuno felt pieces in hand, I headed over to Laurena’s Longarm Quilting and experimented with different battings and threads. Hand quilting is imperative for certain portions of the quilt… it “moved” in just the right way.
Here’s a detail of Rapids….
And now back to the next episode of watery themed quilts. Time to dye some wool.
Feb 17, 2016
Despite subzero temperatures last weekend, we stayed quite warm under Cowabunga II: Feline Party Wave.
Do you remember that surfing cat fabric I picked up last year at City Quilter? Bought to create Kowabunga Karina? Well, I took apart the second baby quilt top and starting piecing, playing and procrastinating, pushing my blue hand dye fabric collection to the brink and completed an 80″ x 90″ top (actually, I had to go buy additional border fabric… nothing appropriate left in stash). There was a stash of wool batting. How lovely, light and cozy this quilt feels.
The Statler did most of the quilting, as I mentioned in my January round up. I trimmed out sections where I quilted in these haikus:
Stoked for dawn patrol; A glorious green room glide; feline party wave.
Gnarly offshore winds; Pop up and grab the back door; Just carve it, kitty
Inspired by the 60 degree angle of the surfing cat fabric, improvisational equilateral triangles fill most of the quilt top (I realize now that my hub was holding the quilt upside down). Never mind, the quilt is done and on my bed. It’s the first quilt I’ve made for our bed in many years of quilting. After all, most of my quilts are destined for the wall these days. And before that, the beds that needed quilts were doubles and twins.
With the scraps, haikus and momentum still left, there will be a Cowabunga III.
Remind me NEVER to think it’s a great idea to sew a back together on the bias. Throughout this process, I realize that I have lots of enthusiasm and ideas. Part of my process is whittling down this fire hose of loose thoughts and prioritize. What is really worth the time, energy and materials for the impact? I spent a lot of time putting the back together. Fabric was chopped up quite unnecessarily for little final contribution to the quilt.
Quilting is going in the back seat again… as I mentioned, the MHK3 comments came back quickly and there is a tam on my horizon.
Jan 14, 2016
Blocks of quilting, knitting, mending, drawing and dreaming frame the early days of 2016.
One Sunday afternoon to do list.
Soon I’ll finish the second quilt in the Cowabunga Cat series. This one kind of got away from me. Originally, the second surfing cat quilt would also be a baby blanket. After the first, I felt like the fabric needed more room to breathe. So I unsewed the top and placed the large isosceles triangles in a larger setting…. try queen size. The top is still pretty busy…. but I can definitely see waves of surfing cats moving through the tube.
Although I said I’d never use a Statler Stitcher on my quilts after Karina Kowabunga, Laurena’s Longarm Quilting now has several of the Anita Shackleford Modern packages available for the computer guided quilting machine. “Modern Paisley” seemed the perfect choice for this surfing cat quilt.
Anita Shackleford Modern Paisley Digital Quilting Design
Trimming out portions of the pattern, changing height and other diddly choices means I’ll spend more than 8 hours quilting the 81″ x 90″ top. Over the autumn, I wrote several little haikus about surfing cats, two of which I’m quilting into the top. I’ve got some leftover fabric and a few more haikus… a third quilt in the offing? While these projects weren’t even on my horizon in January 2015, it’s been a fun little hike.
Already the pull of the 2016 quilt diversion dots my day dreams: Quilt du Jour by Marni Buck and Jill Guffy.
Quilts du Jour by Marny Buck & Jill Guffy
Plucked from the library just before Christmas (along with Margaret Radcliffe’s completely approachable and useful Knowledgeable Knitter), the simple blocks have lots of opportunities to play. We could use a few more large quilts at home. I’ve signed up for studio blocks as a subscriber at Laurena’s through the summer. With only two large WIPS destined for machine quilting, I do need to look at stash and play with possibilities.
Ah, how pleasant it is to just jump into whichever craft calls me today! Random craft choice won’t last much more: we’re leading a Knit a Long for the Aidez cardigan at Sit and Knit. Who knows what 2016 will bring?
Oct 14, 2015
As an art quilter, collecting and admiring art quilts comes part and parcel with the passion. This fall, I vowed to support the Studio Art Quilt Associates Auction for 2015. With 358 members submitting work, this is a mind boggling bounty of techniques and voices expressed in 12″ x 12″ quilts.
With my small, defined budget, my bidding opportunities meant I could participate toward the end of the week’s bidding. On the other hand, the selection of beautiful quilts that I could get with my small, defined budget was bountiful!
Last week, the latest addition to my art quilt collection arrived:
Dawn Allen’s 3 D art quilt is now mine! Dawn is a fellow Massachusetts/Rhode Island Studio Art Quilt Associate member. Hurray!
You can run on down to the Fuller Craft Museum to see another Dawn Allen quilt through January, 2016.
Sep 7, 2015
A flash sale on Southwest Airlines suddenly snapped my long held daydream of visiting a Quilt National exhibit in Athens, OH. Owning several of the exhibit catalogs is never the same as seeing art in person. How I thoroughly treasured my afternoon dose of reality at the Dairy Barn, hanging out with the 84 expressions of art quilting today.
Choosing quilts must have been challenging for the jurors. Quilt National seeks to create a statement of today’s quilting trends; quilts that balance historic roots and yet incorporate new techniques and experimentation. As such, one could easily define this as a quilt exhibit and not a surface design or mixed media exhibit. Rich in message and layers of media, I saw these quilting trends:
- Upscaling and recycling: True to a patchwork tradition, many artists used clothing and scraps in their work.
- Adobe Photoshop: This software has become the quilter’s favorite. Whether creating images or modifying photographs, digital image manipulation is part of many quilters’ visual vocabulary.
- Beyond textiles: From Deidre Adams‘ layers of paper to Wen Redmond‘s metal, to stones and other ephemera become integral to art quilting.
- Machine quilting: The norm and not the exception, by longarm or free motion, machine quilting has become the norm. Storytelling through stitching was evident in many works. Hand quilting, what will happen to you?
- Machine Embroidery: Creating embroidered texture and images made dramatic statements on many works.
The show was hung well, using a variety of different mechanisms to let the work hang. Lighting was also generous and focused, without being detrimental to the longevity of the work. I walked around the exhibit once, soaking up the different artistic flavors… and the flavors were striking. There was often an enormous shift from one quilt to the next. Certainly the curators spent a lot of time trying to find the right flow.
Next to each quilt, the label stated basic quilt information and a QR code that would take you to the artist’s web site. I appreciated the artists who gave you a landing page with their QN15 image and perhaps a statement about the piece before exploring other aspects of their web site.
The Dairy Barn Quilt National 2015 You Tube Channel gives you a fantastic background for many of the works on display. Throughout the summer, I had viewed videos as they were released. This formed the basis of my second tour of the exhibit, back to visit the quilts I remembered from videos. I toured the exhibit one last time, listening to the artist’s video as I looked at the quilts. Got two minutes? Watch one of their videos… they are well done.
Quilt National closes today, but fortunately you can enjoy their YouTube channel to hear many of the artists speak about their work. If Quilt National 2017 is on your summer travel list, swing over to my travels in Athens, OH blog post for more scoops about enjoying the area as well as the art quilts.
Jul 31, 2015
Remember that surfing cat fabric I purchased last winter? Improvisational piecing resulted in a couple of quilt tops with coordinating Cherrywood gradient packs. Despite the fact my to do list is 8 miles long today, I went to Laurena’s to use the Statler Stitcher.
Of course, I didn’t want to do things simply. Mixing two quilt patterns and trimming the motifs made the process much longer. After finishing the project, I decided I wouldn’t probably use the Statler on my quilts again. Ok, maybe if I designed the quilting motif and let the Statler do the stitching. There’s a time and place for everything, so I’m sure I’ll rent the Statler again. Overall, I’d rather move the longarm rather than letting the computer do that work. However, the quality of stitching was spectacular… such perfection.
When I got home, I laid it on the floor to really look at the trimmed piece. Immediately, fluffy feline placed her paw of approval.
Can you imagine surfing ginger cats in this quilt?
Karina Kowabunga will have an orange sherbet binding then zipped out to a sweet pea I love.
The second quilt top will be dissected and placed into a larger setting. All of that action needs more space. I wonder what will happen next as the improv piecing becomes more thoughtful?